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Commission an oil painting by John Livesey fine art

Portrait Artist statement

As an artist, I try to capture a moment or a mood in my paintings. Evoking a memory or feeling of a place or time.

The "Life is a gamble series" pieces are acting as a reminder, drawing a comparison to gambling and life. That, in life to reap rewards in achieving what you want there is an element of risk. That reward may not be financial as in the case with gambling but perhaps following a certain career that may not pan out or a relationship that may not last. You will never know if you don't take that risk and stay in that 'comfortable' place you are accustomed to. You may not experience the lows of possible failure but you also will not experience the highs of possible success.

The "New york series" is putting across my view of America and Americana. How I see it from my outside more sugar coated view. Being brought up in the UK when young the majority of TV shows I watched were from the U.S, The A Team, Knightrider, Street Hawk, Airwolf, Miami Vice, LA Law, Cheers, Roseanne the list goes on. America seemed like a colourful magical place. Having visited a couple of times it didn't disappoint. That though was as the tourist experience. The reality of the day to day no doubt is the same as most places but I like to keep an element of that childlike wonder about it.


I produce pieces using either oil paint or acrylic paint. The preperation of the painting surface is the same for both, a panel is cut to size and 10 coats of gesso are applied and sanded to a smooth finish. After that the aproach differs.

Oils - I use only brushes, with no solvents during the painting phase, once complete a thin layer of liquin is applied to seal the piece. Oils have a long drying time between each layer so I tend to have a couple of pieces in progress at a time so while one is drying I can work on another.

Acrylics - For this I utilise an airbrush, brushes, scalpels, erasers, masks anything goes. With the fast drying time of acrylics I am able to almost continuously work on a piece to completion.

© John Livesey 2020
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